I think it's safe to say that the residential building industry has grown up over the last20 years.
I remember when I first started in the industry and there was a limit in the knowledge of building, building products and interior design. There's a lot of proof to that point still around in Perth. Just take a look at the apricot colored basins and toilet suites, terrible color schemes like 'pink and gray' and overall hodgepodge in many homes. Another contributing factor was the limitations of selections available. There was just not that much selection available in the market place and those providing materials also were not as professional as they are now.
Spend any weekend looking at home opens in your local area and you'll probably see what I mean. The last time i went house hunting for an established home was so depressing. What were people thinking?
It's understandable how it happens … people walk into a shop, see something they love and say 'I want that one' (Little Britain Style). Then they proceed to the next shop, without taking a sample of the previous choice and fall in love with another color. 'I want that one' (rinse and repeat). The problem is that when these selections are combined, they are terrible! The color tones clash and the overall finish of the new home is not as it should be.
Homes should feel like they convey a 'theme' – be consistent in nature from entry to exit. When you walk into a well proportioned, well presented, well decorated home you feel a sense of beauty and as if everything belongs. It's relaxing, not busy. Peaceful, not conflicting.
Enter the Interior Designer.
A good interior designer will assist you in tying all of your likes together, and help you create a home that acts as a can for you to throw your personality on. It's often said that safe, neutral colors are perfect as the canvass which then allow you to add vibrant colors by way of art, vases and knickknacks. A good example of this is a nice lounge suite, perhaps brown in color that has red cushions on it, bringing the furniture to life.
It's my general recommendation that all people thinking of building consult with an interior designer to assist with decorating and the general color selections. Sure, you can do it yourself, but getting this one element right can make the difference of living in an amazing home, to living in an average home.
Clients can also fall into analysis paralysis as nowdays the opposite is true to how things were 20 years ago – there is too much selection available! This is where interior designers come into their own. They have often already done the research on which products are competitively priced and are of similar quality which reduces the amount of choice. Believe me, that is a good thing! I remember clients once having a selection choice of only 3 entry door handles and now there are probably over 1000.
Good interior designers will;
- Be knowledgeable about new products on the market
- Know what many local shops carry which will save you time and money
- Listen to you to get your brief, then create a plan for you to use to put everything together
- Have a great eye for color
- Have a great sense of proportion
- Understand families, lifestyles and how generations different
- Be great with kitchen design (a workable kitchen is a must have!)
- Have great documentation abilities
- Help you stick to your budget during your selections meetings – This is really important!
Interior design is a critical part of home building and while anyone can wear the hat of an interior designer and choose colors and products, it's a highly skilled area that requires training and often a natural flair to achieve outstanding results.